Page images

They know better than I can tell them, how many times they have, by recommending improper persons for the ministry, brought a reproach upon the Church of England. Almost every Bishop requires College testimonials from the young man who comes to him for ordination, and nothing can be more proper; these testimonials affirm, that during the time of his residence at College he bath behaved himself honestly, piously, and soberly :" and now I speak not at a venture, but from my own certain knowledge, and affirm that these testimonials of pious and sober living have been given to men notorious for nothing so much in their day as profaneness, debauchery, and all kinds of riotous living: and, on the other hand, I also know for a certainty, that these testimonials have been withheld from piety, honesty, and sobriety, for no other reason than that they happened to be accompanied with a professiou of the Grace Articles of the Church of England. These are heavy charges, which must one day be answered before the face of men and angels at the great tribunal of God.'- pp. 43-47.

This is a terrific picture of a Church, but perhaps its frightful features have ceased to excite the natural impressions in our minds from a long habit of contemplating them. The evils here complained of constitute an old disease of the Church, and we are astonished sometimes to perceive almost the identity of expressions used in the description of those grievances as they existed and exist a century and a half ago, and at the present moment. We have before us a small tract, entitled “The Grounds and Occasions of the Contempt of the Clergy and Religion enquired into,' and written in the time of Charles II., the period, by the way, at which, according to Mr. Bulteel, 'the persecuting spirit towards spiritual men, began to show itself in the great men of the establishment.' It is evidently the production of a staunch friend to the church, who, perhaps, convinced by experience of the vanity of direct remonstrance, had recourse to the weapons of humour and ridicule, so justifiable in the cause of truth. Speaking of the young men who were sent to the Universities with such indiscriminate haste, for the purpose of being raised to the ministry, the author observes

* And as many such dismal things are sent forth thus with very small tackling, so not a few are predestinated thither by their friends, from the foresight of a good benefice. If there be rich pasture, profitable customs, and that Henry the Eighth has taken out no toll, the Holy Land is a very good land, and affords abundance of milk and honey: far be it from their consciences the considering whether the lad is likely to be serviceable to the church, or to make wiser and better any of his parishioners.'

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

• That constitution of our church was a most prudent design that says, that all who are ordained, shall be ordained to somewhat; not ordained at random, to preach in general to the whole world, as they travel up and down the road, but to this or that particular parish. And no question, the reason was to prevent spiritual-pedling, and gadding up and down the country with a bag of trifling and insignificant sermons ;

pp. 14–98.

enquiring, who will buy any doctrine ? So that no more might be received into holy orders, than the church had provision for. But so very little is this regarded, that if a young divinity intender has but got a sermon of his own, or of his father's, although he knows not where to get a meal's meat, or one penny of money by his preaching, yet he gets a qualification from some beneficed man or other, who perhaps is no more able to keep a curate, than I am to keep ten foot-boys, and so he is made a preacher, And upon this account I have known an ordinary divine, whose living would but just keep himself and his family from melancholy and despair, shroud under his protection as many curates, as the best nobleman in the land has chaplains. Now, many such as these go into orders against the sky falls; foreseeing no more likelihood of any preferment coming to them, than you or I do of being secretaries of state. Now, so often as any such as these, for want of maintenance, are put to any unworthy and disgraceful shifts, this reflects disparagement upon all that order of holy men.'-

The following passages are striking and curious :

First, I say, that which encreases the unprovided-for number of the clergy, is people posting into orders, before they know their message or business, only out of a certain kind of pride and ambition. Thus some are hugely in love with the meer title of priest or deacon ; never considering how they shall live, or what good they are likely to do in their office: but only they have a fancy that a Cassock, if it be made long, is a very handsome garment, though it be never paid for: and that the desk is clearly the best, and the pulpit the highest seat in all the parish: that they shall take place of most but Esquires and Right Worshipfuls. They shall have the honour of being spiritual guides and counsellors; and they shall be supposed to understand more of the mind of God than ordinary, though perhaps they scarce know the old law from the new, nor the canon from the apocrypha. Many, I say, such as these there be, who know not where to get two groats, nor what they have to say to the people, but only because they have heard that the office of a mioster is the most noble and honourable employment in the world, therefore they, not knowing in the least what the meaning of that is, orders by all means must have, though it be to the disparagement of that holy function.

• Others also there be, who are not so highly possessed with the mere dignity of the office, and honourableness of the employment, but think, had they but a licence and authority to preach, Oh how they could pay it away! And that they can tell the people such strange things, as they never heard before in all their lives : that they have got such a commanding voice, such heart-breaking expressions, such a peculiar method of textdividing, and such notable helps for the interpreting all difficulties in scripture, that they can shew the people a much shorter way to heaven, than has been as yet made known by any. Such a forwardness as this, of going into holy orders, either merely out of an ambitious humour of being called a priest, or of thinking they could do such feats and wonders, if they might be but free of the pulpit, has filled the nation with many more divines, than there is any competent maintenance for in the church.'

• The next thing that does much heighten the misery of our church, as to the poverty of it, is the gentries designing, not only the weak, the

lame, and usually the most ill-favoured of their children for the office of the ministry, but also such as they intend to settle nothing upon their subsistence; leaving wholly to the bare hopes of church-preferment. For, as they think, let the thing look how it will, it is good enough for the church; and that if it had but limbs enough to climb the pulpit, and eyes enough to find the day of the month, it will serve enough to preach and read service : so likewise they think they have obliged the clergy very much, if they please to bestow two or three


education upon a younger son at the University, and then commend him to the grace of God, and the favour of the church, without one penny of money or inch of land. You must not think, that he will spoil his eldest son's estate, or hazard the lessening the credit of the family, to do that which may any way tend to the reputation and honour of the clergy. And thus it comes to pass that you may commonly ride ten miles, and scarce meet with a divine that is worth above two spoons and a pepper-box, besides his living, or spiritual preferments. For, as for the land, that goes sweeping away with the eldest son, for the immortality of the family; and as for the money, that is usually employed for to bind out, and set up other children. And thus you

shall have them make no doubt of giving five hundred or a thousand pounds for a stock to them: but for the poor divinity-son, if he gets but enough to buy a broad hat at second hand, and a small system or two of faith, that is counted stock sufficient for him to set up withal. And possibly he might make some kind of shift in this world, if any body will engage that he shall have neither wife nor children; but if it so falls out, that he leaves the world, and behind him either the one or the others; in what a dismal condition are these likely to be, and how will their sad calamities reflect upon the clergy? So dismal a thing is this commonly judged, that those that at their departure out of this life are piously and virtuously disposed, do usually reckon the taking care for the relief of the poor

ministers' widows, to be an opportunity of as necessary charity, as the mending the high-ways, and the erecting of hospitals.'—pp. 112-117.

Is not the state of things implied in these passages, exactly the same in the present day? Are not corrupt motives—are not merely worldly prospects as intimately mixed up with spiritual matters now as they were in the time of the Restoration ? If we look to the little comparative progress which the establishment has made even in the country to which it is indigenous, notwithstanding all the circumstances and accidents that contributed so much to render it acceptable to men, we shall find that it it not so much to the doctrines which she teaches, or the discipline which she administers, that the objection to her communion has been entertained by so many. Certainly not. It is chiefly to the worldly, and mere pecuniary spirit which has so uniformly characterized the great body of churchmen, that we are to attribute the failure of the church as a great national congregation. The thousand corruptions that have preyed upon her, all spring from this grovelling propensity; and it is not to be wondered at that men of reason and feeling should be alienated from a system, where the things of the next world are so deliberately postponed to the things of this. But the day of regeneration, it is to be hoped, has at length dawned.


Art. IX.-A Practical Treatise on Rail-roads, and Interior Com

munication in general, containing an Account of the Performances of the different Locomotive Engines at and subsequent to the Liverpool Contest; upwards of Two Hundred and Sixty Experiments with Tables of the comparative Value of Canals and Rail-roads, and the Power of the present Locomotive Engines. Illustrated by numerous Engravings. By Nicholas Wood, Colliery Viewer, Member of the Insti

tution of Civil Engineers, &c. London: Hurst, Chance, & Co. 1831. We have no account of any expedient for roads being in existence in this country before the era of the Roman invasion. The paths, paved with huge stones, which these conquerors left after them in many parts of Britain, remain still to attest their presence amongst us. Although we had thus the example before us of the manner in which roads, rude as they were, could be made, it does not appear that we at all profited by it. Indeed, of all people whom the legions of ancient Rome visited at any time, the Britons seemed to have been the least disposed to receive instruction of any kind from these civilized adventurers. Hence, no attempt appears to have been made in any part of this kingdon, to form a way after the prescription of the Romans. Whatever we formerly did in the art of road-making was on a narrow scale : it was an individual effort, and done for individual convenience. It appears that at an early period wood was laid down on paths, for the convenient passage of wheeled carts or carriages. But this plan was adopted only in collieries. We have an account of the mode of forming this sort of road, in the latter part of the reign of Charles II.

“ The manner of the carriage,” says the author of the Life of Lord Keeper North, “is by laying timber from the colliery to the river, exactly straight and parallel; and bulky carts are made, with four rollers, fitting those rails, whereby the carriage is so easy that one horse will draw dowo four or five chaldron of coals, and is an immense benefit to the coal mer. chants."

To a late period in the last century, this description of road was used, but only in the mining districts; for as to the rest of the country, conveyance of all kinds connected with traffic, was carried on by pack horses with panniers. The expense of these wooden railroads was extraordinary; that is to say, a quantity of wood was used in their formation which the scientific knowledge of the present day would have in great part rejected. Thus our ancestors were compelled to pay for their ignorance. It was the expense of these roads that no doubt led to the introduction of canals, the convenience and economy of which, for purposes of general traffic were so apparent, that even in the mining districts they eventually superseded every other means of transport, unless in those places where the nature of the ground was an obstacle to that regularity of progress which is required for the current of a canal. The minds of

scientific men being entirely absorbed in this new method of internal communication, it is not to be wondered at, that little progress had been made in rail-road improvements, and the old wooden rail still continued to be used without alteration. At length it was proposed that where acclivities or sudden windings occurred on the road, thin plates of wrought iron should be nailed to the surface of the wooden rail, and this measure was found very considerably to diminish the resistance offered in such places to the wheels. The success of this plan led to the substitution of rails composed entirely of cast-iron. Their first introduction Mr. Wood traces to the middle of the last century, and he supposes too that it was cotemporaneous with the first use of iron wheels. This “Plate Rail" as it is called, was supported by wooden sleepers stretched across the breadth of the rail-road, or by short square ones to which the rail was nailed. Stone props were next used, and this sort of rail, which has undergone numerous alterations since its first employment, constitutes the most modern plate-rail. An excellent description, with a plate, is given of it by Mr. Wood. In 1789, the edgerail was brought into use by Mr. Jessop. It consisted of a bar of cast-iron, from three to four feet long, and about three quarters of an inch thick, swelling out at the upper part to two and a half inches broad for the wheel to run upon, and placed upright, within a sort of chair, upon the stone supports. This form of rail combines strength of material with smallness of quality in a degree that is to be fuund in no other plan. The chairs in which the rail is placed, consist of a flat case, about 4 inches by 7, and inch thick, having two upright ledges, which ascending on either side above the surface, form a cavity into which the ends of the rails are iaid. These chains are again supported by stones generally from 16 to 20 inches square, and 8 inches deep; but upon the Liver. pool and Manchester rail-road, where the edge-rail was used, stones have been laid down at 24 inches square, and 12 in depth.Mr. Wood, observes

“To form a perfect and complete rail-way, the upper surface of the rail sbould be made to remain always quite parallel with the inclination of the general line of road; when this is the case, the rails will form an uninterrupted line with the exception of the joinings at intervals, varying according to the length of the rails, and when the joinings are neatly fastened together, the interruption to the continuity will be scarcely visible; the carriage wheels, in rolling along such a road, will meet with little obstruction; and the friction or resistance will be comparatively trifling. To accomplish the formation and permanence of such a road, the bed of the chair should be formed quite parallel with the base of the stone, and consequently parallel with the line of the rails : and the chair should be placed precisely in the centre of the stone. The surface of the ground whereon the stone rests, should also be made firm, and hard, to secure the parallelism of the base of the stone, with the line of the rails ; otherwise when the weight comes upon them, the parallelism of the rails will be destroyed.'--pp. 26, 27.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »